Thomas Kuntz is a sculptor, painter, designer, mechanic, animator, and model-maker. Each of those skills plays a role in creating the artist’s automata, or self-operating machines that follow a predetermined set of actions. It’s an art that has ancient roots, but Kuntz’s creations have a sense of timeless theatrics with contemporary flourishes.
Kinetic art is art from any medium that contains movement perceivable by the viewer or depends on motion for its effect. For the 11 international artists in the upcoming exhibit “Perpetual Motion” at Heron Arts in San Francisco, movement is fundamental to storytelling. Their collective kinetic works offer a modern interpretation of this age old art form that redefined sculpture into more than three-dimensional- it transformed our perceptions of line, color and life itself into an extension of the human imagination.
It’s magical ability to capture our imagination is as miraculous as the device itself. Elaborate wind-up machines called automata, or automatons, are mechanical marvels dating from a time as early as the 13th century. Tom Haney, the artist of these automata, has always been fascinated by mechanical movement. “The work I create today is a modern offshoot of the time-honored Old World tradition of automata,” he says. Using carved wood and old objects as his main materials, his art brings new life into obsolete artifacts, literally.